Research Field: Forensic Science
In the forensic world, where science is applied to the crime scene to aid investigations, the base
concept is that “Every contact leaves a trace”. Such traces are the evidence that connect the four
main features of any story – the victim, the criminal, the place and the time.
As a forensic biologist, Dr Paola Magni’s expertise is in the analyses of the micro and macro-
organisms present at the crime scene or left on the victim or the suspect. Paola’s research aims to
expand the applicability of the insects in crimes that happen in terrestrial environments, and of
barnacles and plankton in the ocean. Her research is driven by her mission to provide law
enforcement with new tools to fight for justice.
For Paola, effective science communication is pivotal in her activity in Court, but she is also
determined to make science inspiring and accessible to everyone. Besides a wide range of public
outreach activities and media engagements, Paola is the 2019 Australian winner of FameLab and a
TEDx speaker. Paola has significantly increased community understanding of the role of forensic
science through her SBS Podcast, “The Bug Whisperer”, and by inspiring a character on “RIS Delitti
Imperfetti” – the Italian version of TV’s Crime Scene Investigation.
Dr Magni’s alma mater is the University of Turin (Italy), she has conducted research at UWA and she
has been trained at the FBI Human Remain Recovery School in Tennessee (USA). She is currently
Senior Lecturer in Forensic Science at Murdoch University.